Legal Resources

Guide to Asking an Attorney for Help

It can be intimidating to seek legal assistance. You may have a lot to say about the circumstances and you want others to understand you and feel compelled to help. At the same time, it’s important to be focused in explaining what your needs are. Attorneys and others in helping professions are often short on time and need the essential details of your story in order to determine if there is a way to provide legal assistance or support. Please use our guide as a way to help you communicate in the most effective way possible with attorneys and others in legal/helping professions. Click here for our Guide to Asking An Attorney for Help.

Legal Resources

Our national organization, NAMI, has a Legal Center that receives daily calls from members and the public requesting legal assistance. They created a lawyer referral panel as a service to those in need of legal assistance.

  • NAMI’s Legal Center requires attorneys on the Lawyer Referral Panel to complete questionnaires regarding their specialties, fees, education and liability insurance. Communications to the center remain confidential, as does the attorney information. These lawyers do not verify qualifications or credentials of attorneys on our panel, and supplement their listings with the Disability Law Directory of the American Bar Association, the Directory of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Directory and the Directory of Local Pro Bono Programs.
  • You may contact the NAMI Legal Center by e-mail ( or by calling 703-524-7600. Please furnish your full name, address with zip code and telephone number to help us find legal aid in your area.
  • American Bar Association: an online database of pro-bono attorneys. They also offer guidelines for finding free legal assistance.
  • Online database of pro-bono attorneys
  • Guidelines for finding free legal assistance.
  • State-by-state listing of attorneys.
  • Legal Aid / local legal service agencies may assist those unable to pay for legal assistance (limitations often apply, such as no criminal cases). Check your local phone directory under “legal aid” for services. 

Virginia Resources